Ivan Basso returns in Trentino to assess Giro d’Italia form
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Monday, April 16, 2012

Ivan Basso returns in Trentino to assess Giro d’Italia form

by Ben Atkins at 10:45 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Liquigas-Cannondale unsure of Corsa Rosa chances after a spring disrupted by crashes

ivan bassoIvan Basso (Liquigas-Cannondale) will return to the peloton in the Giro del Trentino, which starts tomorrow, April 17th, with a 14.3km team time trial between Riva del Garda and Arco. The two-time Giro d’Italia winner is aiming for a third victory in next month’s Corsa Rosa but, after a spring disrupted by crashes, the 34-year-old is uncertain of his form.

Basso’s season began slowly with the Trofeo Laigueglia and the GP di Lugano; he failed to finish both due to ‘flu, although both were won by teammates Moreno Moser and Eros Capecchi respectively. He then returned for Paris-Nice, with the hope of recovering his form, but fell victim to a big crash as crosswinds swept through the second stage; suffering with serious bruises, Basso continued for as long as he could, before retiring midway through stage six.

He returned for the Volta a Catalunya but was one of may that fell victim to crashes in the snow-shortened third stage. Basso starts in Trentino to, yet again, start to build his Giro form.

“I see this race a bit like my second debut of the season,” he said. “Unfortunately, the incidents in the Paris-Nice and the Catalunya compromised my race programme and I really don’t have many days’ racing in my legs. I can’t expect to have perfect rhythm and I need to regain confidence with the dynamics of a real race.

“The ‘Trentino’ has some very tough climbs that will be great for my preparation but you can’t invent anything on them to keep up with the best riders,” he conceded. “I want to think of this race as a new step forward in my run-up to the Giro d’Italia: the Giro del Trentino and the Tour de Romandie are the races which will decide whether or not I’ll be competing for the pink jersey.”

Basso won the 2009 edition of the mountainous race, before taking fourth in the Giro, while his fifth place of 2010 led to his second victory in his home Grand Tour. He skipped last year’s race, as his season was built around the Tour de France, but his thoughts have returned to a third Giro victory this year.

“It’s a very demanding race,” explained Liquigas-Cannondale directeur sportif Stefano Zanatta, who will direct the team along with Paolo Slongo, “and a very useful proving ground for testing the guys’ fitness levels, particularly Ivan.

“We expect to see some encouraging signs from him not sensational results,” he added. “He’s rejoining the group after a difficult period: first the falls, then the recovery and then the training camp in the mountains. The ‘Trentino’ is just the next step in his preparation.”

With such mountainous course, Liquigas-Cannondale’s team for the race will mostly consist of climbers, with Italians Eros Capecchi, Valerio Agnoli and Cristiano Salerno, Pole Sylwester Szmyd, and Colombian Josè Sarmiento; the eight-man squad will be completed by Italian rouleurs Paolo Longo Borghini and Alessandro Vanotti.

Liquigas-Cannondale team for the Giro del Trentino
Valerio Agnoli, Ivan Basso, Eros Capecchi, Paolo Longo Borghini, Cristiano Salerno, Josè Sarmiento, Sylwester Szmyd and Alessandro Vanotti.

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